Hiba Mohamed: A Reflection On a 3-Month-Long Internship at Somali Public Agenda

Reflections From Our Team

Reflecting on my achievement as the first intern in my cohort and the highest scorer in the internship exam, I feel incredibly proud and grateful. This accomplishment represents a major milestone in my professional development, and it has given me a great sense of satisfaction and pride.

As part of the first cohort to be admitted to the the Somali Public Agenda (SPA) internship programme after taking a competitive written test and oral interview , we were all unsure of what to expect. However, I approached the exam with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to doing my best. A few days after taking the test, I was contacted by SPA and they broke the news that I had passed. Not only that but more interesting and heartening that I was the first of the 9 candidates who sat for both the test and interview. Securing the number one position privileged me to be the first one to begin the internship in the first quarter of 2023 while other qualified candidates were to alternate quarterly according to their position in the result roll. I am happy to say that my efforts paid off.

On my first day, Farhia Mohamud, SPA HR officer and researcher, welcomed me and directed me to the office. Also, on the same day Qamar Osman, the Logistics Officer, took me on a tour of the SPA offices and introduced me to the team members in person.

During my three-month internship at SPA, I had the opportunity to engage in a variety of tasks and activities that allowed me to gain valuable skills and experience in different areas. In particular, I worked in the finance, procurement, logistics, and HR departments. I took online courses on writing, research methodology, and how to develop as an exceptional writer. I took minutes of the meetings, supported the planning of SPA forums, and wrote transcriptions of focus group discussions for some of the ongoing research projects at SPA.

Through these experiences, I gained valuable skills and knowledge that will no doubt help me in my future studies and career. For example, by taking meeting minutes, I developed excellent listening and note-taking skills, which are essential for effective communication and collaboration in any workplace. Working in the finance department and learning QuickBooks gave me invaluable experience in financial management and record-keeping, which can be applied to many different professions. Similarly, working in the procurement and logistics department helped me develop skills in coordinating the acquisition of goods and services, negotiating contracts, and managing supply chains, which are essential for effective organizational operations.

In addition, the online courses I took on research methodology, email writing, and how to be a good writer provided me with essential skills in communication, organization, and critical thinking. I learned best practices for writing professional and effective emails, conducting research, and writing clearly, effectively, and persuasively. These skills are transferable, and I can apply them in many different contexts, from academic research to professional writing to personal communication.

In addition to these tasks, the interns at Somali Public Agenda also have the opportunity to attend events and learn about research that has been done and is being presented. Overall, my internship at the Somali Public Agenda has been incredibly rewarding and provided me with valuable learning experiences that would surely expand my career prospects and professional development.

Looking back on my internship experience, I realize that I have learned a great deal from the talented and dedicated team at SPA. In addition to gaining technical skills and knowledge, I have also learned about the importance of teamwork, communication, and perseverance. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a supportive and inspiring team.

I want to express my gratitude to my mentor Farhia Mohamud, and everyone who supported me throughout my internship journey. Your guidance, feedback, and encouragement have been instrumental in my success, and I am grateful for your contributions to my growth and learning.

I am excited to use this achievement as a stepping-stone for further growth and development in my career. I remain committed to pursuing excellence in all that I do, and I look forward to contributing my skills and knowledge to make a meaningful impact in my field.

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for all that this internship has done for me. SPA’s generosity and support mean the world to me, and I want SPA to know that I will always be grateful for the lessons I learned and the experiences I had during my time with you.

Thank you once again for everything. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you.

Hiba Mohamed

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